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Loose pucks: We love this team

February 14, 2012

Three things that we can’t believe:
1) First place.

It almost feels like a fever dream. However, fleeting it may be (probably not very at all), Lowell is currently first in Hockey East. It seemed impossible even in October and early November, but here we are. Imagine your reaction if we’d told you that around March of last year. “Hey guess what, Lowell’s going to be first in Hockey East in 11 months.” You would almost certainly have asked us if every other team in the league was killed in a terrible accident. That’s how improbable this is. Not that we don’t love every second of it.

2) Doug Carr.

What a goaltender. He’s been unbelievable all year and that continued against two very, very tough opponents this weekend. As with where the team is at now, imagine the incredulity if we started spouting off about how he would literally become the best goaltender in the league this season after being among the worst statistically last year. While he’s not the sole reason for this team’s success, obviously, he is the rock upon which it’s all been built. It’s a real pleasure to watch. Oh, and he’s only a sophomore.

3) Friday’s game.

What a wonderful game, showcasing everything the sport can be. Intense, well-played, nasty hockey from the first whistle to the last. Whatever you paid to see it, you didn’t pay enough.

Two things that we don’t want to believe:
1) Losing at home.

We had pretty much forgotten what it feels like. It doesn’t feel good.

2) A lack of finish.

That was the difference between Maine and Lowell on Saturday night and if you think BU’s going to be any different this weekend, you’re crazy. As with the home loss to BC, we think Lowell can pretty well overcome it in time for this most important series maybe in the school’s Division 1 history.

Stat of the Week
We are all seeing it every week and therefore it’s sometimes hard to put it into proper context, but this is some kind of season Doug Carr’s having. How good? It might end up being the best in Lowell history by almost any measure.

For example, the Lowell record for goals-against average is Cam McCormick’s 1.88 set in 2001-02. Carr’s is currently 1.81.

The school record for save percentage in a season is Nevin Hamilton’s .925 in 2008-09, but Carr’s is currently .935.

With 18 wins, he’s just one behind John MacKenzie for eighth in team history, and when he tops 20, that will bump him to a tie for seventh. And he’ll be just the third goaltender in the school’s Division 1 history to get there. Dwayne Roloson, no slouch himself, did it twice, but Martin Fillion’s 1995-96 season of 24 wins is the high-water mark.

Friday was Carr’s fourth shutout of the season, pulling him within two of Cam McCormick’s single-season record. He’s also just four away from the all-time record of eight, also held by McCormick.

It’s entirely possible that we’re seeing the best single-season goaltending performances in Lowell history, and a shocking few people are actually talking about it. It’s also just about on par with Brad Thiessen’s 2008-09 season in which he was a Hobey Baker finalist (18-6-3, NCAA appearance, Hockey East semifinal loss to Lowell, 2.09 goals-against average/.932 save percentage). Not that we’re trying to tell you who to vote for in the weekly balloting or anything like that.

A quick question for you
How early is too early to start getting giddy over the hockey we’re going to see this weekend? Because if the answer is “yesterday,” we’re in trouble.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 14, 2012 9:45 am

    One correction, Cam McCormick’s 8 shutouts is not the record any more. Carter Hutton (a pretty fair goalie himself) had 10 during his 4 years in Lowell.

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